Saleh Sindhi Mosque

Saleh Sindhi Mosque is hidden on the premises of a private property on Shahrah-e-Bin Badis (earlier Empress Road). As you proceed north on the road, just past the St. Anthony's (Don Bosco) Church and across from the Pakistan Railway Headquarters, you will find a gate on your left into a large compound known as Nawab Palace, belonging to Lahore's well known Nawab Qizilbash family. Saleh Sindhi Mosque

From the main road you will not be able to view this 17th century Shahjahani mosque, since it lies hidden behind foliage at the rear of the interesting British-period brick mansion. Since it is private property, you will need permission to enter the grounds and then ask to view the ancient mosque. The caretakers are normally very cooperative and will accompany you to the rear of the sprawling compound.

The mosque is impressive in its pristine purity of whitewashed surfaces. No evidence of any decoration is visible today in this single-aisle 3-bay mosque. The original simple cusped arches leading into the prayer chamber today carry modern-day doors to secure the mosque. Even so, there is no major intervention or tampering visible in the historic structure, except in the use of plaster in the lower part of walls in a vain attempt to arrest the rising damp. This mosque appears to be one of the few Mughal mosques which have not suffered large-scale renovation/restoration. Thus, it is invaluable for the study of original mosque structures of the period. The usual 3-dome arrangement, with a larger dome in the middle flanked by two smaller domes, all topped by pinnacles is graceful in its execution. The courtyard, no longer very large, has been redone and the brick flooring mentioned by Latif is no longer extant. Kanhaiya Lal believes that the mosque once existed in the midst of a large garden.

Historian Latif credits Muhammed Saleh Sindhi, with the construction of the mosque. Muhammed Saleh, a wealthy amir (noble) at the royal court, was appointed diwan by the governor of Lahore during Emperor Shah Jahan's reign. Saleh was a nephew of Haji Sewai, after whom the area was once known as Mohallah Sewai. As was the fate of many Muslim historic structures, this mosque too did duty as an arsenal and powder magazine during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. However, luckily, it escaped large-scale damage, and after annexation by the British was repaired by Nawab Ali Raza Khan Qizilbash and became a part of his large estate.

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